Every morning at Dookes H.Q. the alarm goes off and persistently calls us out of our comfortable slumber at the crack of dawn every day, yes that’s right, every day! You see our alarm takes the form of three working cocker spaniels; Deltic, Bethany and Bluebell. Without fail, as soon as the light of day gets to a certain level, our four legged friends decide that it’s time to get out of bed and burst into song to join in with the dawn chorus!
Yes, sometimes it’s a real pain to drag out of a cosy bed, but other days it’s a treat to be outside as the new day gets going. Today was one of those mornings that took my breath away; it was a little bit hazy but had the promise of a good day ahead. Things have sort of got to me over the last few days so I took the opportunity to get a few jobs out of the way and then enjoy some “me time.”
Now before I get someone saying that taking early retirement is pretty much wall to wall “me time,” let me assure you it ain’t! I just needed a bit of space to get my head reset and yes, it was going to involve riding Harley.
Actually I had a funny little job to do first. Some time ago I was given a couple of large cobble stones that a former neighbour had picked up on a local beach. The two stones have sat incongruously in our garden for a year or so and every time I’ve walked past them they have began to look more and more out of place; if stones could look sad these did! I knew that they were picked up from Widemouth Bay, so after loading them in Harls’ panniers that’s where we went and repatriated my two pre-Cambrian friends on the beach with their brothers and sisters! You know, it made me feel pretty good too, daft eh?
After riding literally thousands of miles on Baby Blue in recent months, it was really back to basics on Harls; less power, less brakes, less comfort, more wind, more noise….I love it!
I stuck to the back roads and apart from the odd tractor didn’t see any traffic, with no time constraint it was blissful riding at its best!
There’s been a lot of pretty heavy things processed in the Dookes brain of late and a ride like this was just what I needed.
Nearing home I couldn’t resist a little diversion to Treburland Bridge on the infant River Lynher. This delightful place is only two miles from the front door of Dookes H.Q., but it’s been a couple of years since I’ve been down the twisting narrow lane that fords the water here. Just a few yards upstream and flanked by the last of the spring bluebells, stands the clapper bridge that gives the place it’s name.
Clapper bridges are ancient structures often found on Dartmoor, Exmoor and of course here on Bodmin Moor. The bridge is formed by large flat slabs of local stone, here it’s granite, supported on stone piers and resting on the banks. Goodness knows how many centuries this bridge has stood here and how many feet have trod those worn slabs of rock.
It’s just the sort of place to sit, gather your thoughts, breath in the fresh clean air and just enjoy the moment. With the river gently burbling over the ford, a billion gossamer winged willow seeds drifting around on the slack breeze and the tang of wild garlic in the air, it really was quite enchanting and certainly uplifting. What else would you expect it to do for a country boy like me?
I do believe that it is time for a road trip!
Stick around, this is going to get interesting!
“Why don’t you tell them what you’re gonna do? Do anything you wanna do.”
Catch you soon.